Classically-Trained Chef Highlights Season’s Best
Three local chefs will face off during the FARM FOOD FEUD on Saturday, August 19th at the Mount Vernon Farmers Market from 9am-2pm. They will compete to create a dish from fresh ingredients picked on the spot! One of the competitors is Paul Maccario of Valley Shine Distillery, and he said he is looking forward to the competition. "I'll be bringing some energy and fun. It's great to be able to cook with these amazing chefs."
So How Did Paul Become a Chef?
Paul grew up in Florida and started working in kitchens as a dishwasher when he was 14. At 19, he decided to make cooking his career and enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. "They really opened my eyes to the history of cooking and the techniques adapted from French chefs. I wouldn't be where I am today without that education." He explained.
Curious about the fresh seafood on the west coast, he headed for Seattle. He had planned on staying in Seattle for a year and then taking a road trip down the west coast, but one year turned into a decade as Paul fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. He worked for an award-winning chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas at his first restaurant, Dahlia Lounge. Paul then found himself on the 76th floor at the Columbia Tower Club, a private club serving world-class cuisine to its members. He helped open Chihuly Garden & Glass, a unique venue that is both a long-term glass art exhibit and a restaurant.
He and his wife decided to leave the big city for the serenity of Camano Island. When Paul moved to Island County, he met Ben, the owner of Valley Shine Distillery. He said, "Ben gives me a lot of creative freedom when it comes to creating the menu. I like to focus on premium fresh produce, so I change the menu with the seasons."
What Are His Favorite Menu Items?
Chef Paul laughed and said, "This is the hardest question you have asked me! It's so hard to pick because I love everything on the menu! But if I had to choose two that I loved the most at this moment, I'd say the Mojito Shrimp Appetizer served with a spiced plantain cake and the Linguica Portuguese Sausage with the creamed corn succotash."
Don't miss Chef Paul at the Farm Food Feud on August 19th at the Mount Vernon Farmers Market!